Assam Kathaldanga Signature Black is a completely handmade Assam from a very small family-run tea garden located in Kathaldanga Village on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River in Upper Assam. The careful hand picking and processing in small individual batches results in large, attractive leaves and a complex taste. This tea was harvested on 10 April 2022 from plants grown naturally and without use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
We work together with a specialist wholesaler in Assam who only works directly and supports small scale farmers. They do not just resell the farmers’ teas but also provide support and financial help to farmers to enable them to produce great quality tea – such as investing into machinery and providing them with knowhow. This guarantees the farmers a fair price for their tea and provides investment into their farm to support their families’ future. This is in complete contrast with teas from many large Assam estates where most of the price paid for the tea ends up with the estate and little trickles down to the farmers.
This Assam Kathaldanga Signature Black is a First Flush Assam, having been picked in early April. Generally the later Second Flush is the more prized picking as it tends to deliver a bolder flavour that many fans of Assam black tea are looking for. However this earlier harvest delivers some of the classic Assam taste but with a lighter, more elegant twist. The leaves of this tea are carefully handpicked from demarcated sections of the plantation over a short picking period. Therefore each picking can be quite different and this particular batch was only 15kg in total. After picking the leaves are hand-rolled in small batches to avoid breakage and to preserve unique flavour profiles of each picking. Being a bit less tippy and consisting of larger leaf than the Tippy Black from the sister production at Latumoni, this version delivers a more classic Assam taste.
The dry leaves of Assam Kathaldanga Signature Black are large and dark in appearance with a good amount of golden tips. When brewed, the large whole leaves and tips produce a dark umber liquor with a lovely malty aroma typical of Assam black teas. The robust malty character delivers a smooth taste with mineral and fruity notes. The notes of sweet molasses nicely balance the tangy and slightly tannic aftertaste. There is also a hint of some honey on the taste. This tea has a pleasant degree of tannins and light astringency but overall it still delivers a satisfying cup that is very easy to drink.
We suggest brewing at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed a couple of times depending on your taste preferences. Definitely try it first without the addition of milk or sugar. Brewed stronger, it will take a splash of milk if you so desire. It also works great for gongfu brewing!